Al's Ramblings



Saturday, October 31, 2009

(10/31/2009 11:22:00 PM) - Al

NFL picks...Vikings, Giants, and the home teams.

Colts and Saints against the spread.


10/31/2009 11:22:00 PM



(10/31/2009 10:31:00 PM) - Al

Metal beam in press box blocking my view of first base. Almost makes me feel like an umpire.--Tom H's twitter feed

That's so funny, I can all but promise you TH heard someone else say it. That said, kudos to him for reminding me the clocks go back tonight. The Rambling wife and son are visiting relatives this weekend, while myself and the Rambling dog slept in this morning and then napped away the trick-or-treating hours, because I'm anti-social and not ashamed to say so.


10/31/2009 10:31:00 PM



(10/31/2009 10:12:00 PM) - Al

Blackfive eloquently wonders the same thing as myself...is there a plan, or is it just politics with regards to Afghanistan?

It's hard to see the delays as anything except posturing, and as silly as it seems, wishing it would just go away. As mentioned it the fine link, this is when leadership is needed...even (gasp) if it means making some of the electorate unhappy.


10/31/2009 10:12:00 PM



(10/31/2009 07:45:00 PM) - Al

The biggest cheer during the pre-game intros of the Bucks...for one of the people doing the intros, who was a member of the US Army.


10/31/2009 07:45:00 PM



(10/31/2009 02:05:00 PM) - Al

Note the off-the-charts anti-capitalism in this Newsweek piece.

How dare we use the free market to determine what someone gets paid! It's like Fidel is the new editor.


10/31/2009 02:05:00 PM



(10/31/2009 01:27:00 PM) - Al

Exactly what I've been saying. The lightning quick descent tells you how the average person sees the ineffectiveness of this administration...even if the old media does not.

EDIT: Historical noteworthy decline...and more Americans believe in UFO's than think Congress is doing a good job. Heh.


10/31/2009 01:27:00 PM



(10/31/2009 12:49:00 PM) - Al

Buster Olney also mentions Kelly Johnson may be traded or non-tendered.

ATL is said to be looking for a RH bat, and have surplus SP's. Some sort of Corey Hart for a SP swap...and getting the Braves to "throw in" the soon to be non-tendered Johnson would be a coup of massive proportions.

Johnson, career------.346/.430
Hart, career----.326/.470

Sadly, the Bill James' projections seem to have been taken down, but I know KJ was forecast for a 799 OPS, and BCB says Hart was given a...799 OPS, wow, that's hard to believe.

I can't believe Hart could bring back Javier Vasquez, but would Kawakami be a possibility?


10/31/2009 12:49:00 PM



(10/31/2009 12:28:00 PM) - Al

I'm watching the Indiana/Iowa game on ESPN, and on the same drive, the refs blew two calls, they reviewed them both via instant replay, and they refused to overturn either one of them.

This "conclusive evidence" is a load of bunk. There seems to be a hesitation to overrule anything except a glaring, Tim McClelland looking into the OF and still calling the guy out for leaving early type botch up.


10/31/2009 12:28:00 PM



(10/31/2009 12:27:00 PM) - Al

I was going to grill steak for lunch today, but my deck is full of snow and it is very cold out. By the way, what's a "bread and butter steak"...that's what the label says. Proof I buy whatever cut is on sale.


10/31/2009 12:27:00 PM



(10/31/2009 11:53:00 AM) - Al

Moderate Republican drops out of race, leaving 3rd party conservative Palin endorsed.

This is not a normal electorate, despite the old media's inability to report on the anger and displeasure out there. It is remarkable, though I am unsure if it will last until November of '10...forever in politics.


10/31/2009 11:53:00 AM



(10/31/2009 11:08:00 AM) - Al

I can't believe the Cubs are dumb enough to add that much payroll, but we'll see.


10/31/2009 11:08:00 AM



(10/31/2009 10:31:00 AM) - Al

A couple personal items...

...I rarely put poker stories on here, never mind bad beats, which are part of the game, and silly to concern yourself with. However, last night, even I was flabbergasted. Very early in a 10 player sit-n-go:

I called with Ac6c in early position, and ended up with only the blinds. The flop came 9c8c4c...I had the best possible hand. As I contemplated maximizing my winnings, inexplicably, the small blind went all-in. The big blind folded, and I called. He had 10s9s. All I had to avoid was him hitting runner runner cards to suck out a full house, so I was a huge favorite.

The turn was a 9...a horrible card, because it gave him a full house with a 10 or if the board paired the 8 or the 4. As I began adding up his outs, the river was dealt...the other 9.

That's about as bad as it gets.

...Thursday, I was about 10 minutes away from home when I realized I had not grabbed my cell phone...I could have sworn I had put it in my pocket, but it was not anywhere in the car. I cannot tell you how awkward it was, I felt almost naked. I know I read an article in which someone mentioned how dated Seinfeld was already because no one use a cell phone. Another pointed out many of the minor inconveniences that plots were based upon could have easily been remedied with a cell.

Of course, nothing grandiose occurred that it was missed. It's astounding that it seems so necessary, when just a while back, it was unheard of.


10/31/2009 10:31:00 AM


Friday, October 30, 2009

(10/30/2009 09:57:00 PM) - Al

"When someone shows up to an interview or meeting in anything other than jeans, it shows inexperience and a lack of confidence," says Andrew Dumont, vice president of marketing for text-messaging company Tatango.--WSJ.com

Read the whole thing.

I'm sure it's different in the tech world, but here in flyover country, jeans at a job interview, unless you're going to dig ditches or stock shelves, means you're not going to get the job.


10/30/2009 09:57:00 PM



(10/30/2009 08:53:00 PM) - Al

I just got the first disc of The Riches from Netflix. Like many FX shows, I watched it, liked it, and couldn't figure out when it was on. Hopefully, it's as good as I recall.


10/30/2009 08:53:00 PM



(10/30/2009 08:50:00 PM) - Al

I am not unemployable. I have a master’s of fine arts and spent two years in the Peace Corps. All that looks fine on my résumé. But there are also gaps in my work history: long empty months punctuated with only temporary periods of employment.--NY Times

Heh, that pretty much defines unemployable to many of us.


10/30/2009 08:50:00 PM



(10/30/2009 06:11:00 PM) - Al

Bosio will be the advance scout, a role in which he won't make lots of trips to the mound and yell at his pupils.


10/30/2009 06:11:00 PM



(10/30/2009 06:07:00 PM) - Al

And we wondered why it's 1900 pages...calorie counts on menus...to help protect us from ourselves.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hire a nanny to help me feed myself.


10/30/2009 06:07:00 PM



(10/30/2009 03:26:00 PM) - Al

Apparently, Selig and Fox knew exactly what they were doing.


10/30/2009 03:26:00 PM



(10/30/2009 03:00:00 PM) - Al

Doug, Gord, and others are in Arizona making plans.

Oh to be a fly on the wall.


10/30/2009 03:00:00 PM



(10/30/2009 02:57:00 PM) - Al

Katie Couric and CBS doubting truthfulness of administration.

1. Add Couric to the hit list.

2. Whatever happened to the good ol' days, when Rather would just make up stuff?


10/30/2009 02:57:00 PM



(10/30/2009 02:47:00 PM) - Al

McCain with another top ten pork projects, all in the name of "stimulus". I'm so nauseous after #1, I can't go on. $1.2M for rat poison and traps on a nearly uninhabited island.

Oi vey.


10/30/2009 02:47:00 PM



(10/30/2009 02:44:00 PM) - Al

Take a gander at what the CBO (always optimistic, by the way) says about cap and tax...2M lost jobs in a few years.

What a total crock. Ironic Al Gore's company does exactly what Al Gore preaches to the masses they should do. It's an environmental ponzie scheme.


10/30/2009 02:44:00 PM



(10/30/2009 11:43:00 AM) - Al

Kelly Johnson, Braves: We learned earlier this month that the Braves might look to trade Johnson before December's non-tender deadline. Johnson lost his starting job to Martin Prado in July and suffered a wrist injury shortly thereafter. He earned $2.825MM this year and is arbitration-eligible again. He could be a great pickup if he returns to his .800 OPS ways of 2007-08.---MLBTR

I'm all alone on this bandwagon, but trading for or signing Johnson if he is non-tendered to play LF and backup 2B just makes too much sense to me. Bill James projects him to return to a 799 OPS, far higher than Cameron, for example, and Kelly will be cheaper. Of course, Mike's defense is far superior to 90% of the alternatives...but he'll cost a lot more too.

Sadly, we still have no idea if the braintrust considers Hart a possibility in CF or not, and Johnson has never played CF or RF, so I'd guess his arm is weak...that said, Catalanotto was plenty passable in RF, and he did not have a cannon out there either. And, Braun could play RF, as he has the arm and ability, though it's hard to picture him as being more than "decent".


10/30/2009 11:43:00 AM



(10/30/2009 12:40:00 AM) - Al

Blackfive wonders aloud what many of us have, but have hesitated to say. I admit, the idea it was done in the middle of the night makes it very, very strange.


10/30/2009 12:40:00 AM



(10/30/2009 12:16:00 AM) - Al

Fox News...icky, does not suck up nearly enough.

Edmunds.com...incorrect with seemingly common sense analysis of socialist cash for clunkers program.

Afghanistan...still mulling data.

This stuff just writes itself.

UPDATE: Add AP to the black list. AP gets in trouble for using Recovery.gov website's stats, instead of made up numbers.

I tell you, they must yearn for the days when "hope and change" was all they needed, never mind the actual, you know, specifics.


10/30/2009 12:16:00 AM


Thursday, October 29, 2009

(10/29/2009 11:57:00 PM) - Al

An e-mailer asks why no one is reporting this bit of indiscretion.

I think the answer is obvious...

My goodness, GDP is up 3.5%, and you have to do a Google search to read about it this evening...no one is reporting it because it does not fit the narrative. Very little of the "stimulus" has been spent, and it is apparent the recession is over without 90% of the money being thrown away into various pork laden crap (algae research?). Even using the old fashioned definitions, as most economists say it ended in April or May, it is over. It was, to be blunt, just another downturn, as we have to have in any sort of, dare I say it without being arrested, free market economy.

Funny, we didn't even come close to the misery index we had under Jimmy Carter...even though many argued it was "the worst economy since the Depression".

Don't let those pesky facts get in the way.


10/29/2009 11:57:00 PM



(10/29/2009 11:39:00 PM) - Al

Dave takes a few minutes off from fondling hot young babes to discuss the success of drug testing in MLB. Selig, with his willingness to bravely lead the game into the 21st century, with innovations such as the wildcard, revenue sharing, and interleague play, deserves a ton of credit for implementing such stringent testing after years of refusal by the union.


10/29/2009 11:39:00 PM



(10/29/2009 09:49:00 PM) - Al

The UN's "security" is exactly as good as you would expect it to be.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an important scheduled meeting with a Colonel Mustard, in the library.


10/29/2009 09:49:00 PM



(10/29/2009 07:55:00 PM) - Al

Excerpts from disgraced NBA ref's book...as much as I want to not believe him, everything he writes makes perfect sense...we all feel the NBA does what they can to help the Lakers win, for example.

I have little doubt such things exist in MLB, though that's only a minor reason why the umping has been so terrible.


10/29/2009 07:55:00 PM



(10/29/2009 07:17:00 PM) - Al

Roger Goodell has been made a complete fool of by Rush and a congressman, though the old media is doing its best to not report it.

I'm not a huge fan of Rush, though I will admit he's outstanding at what he does, which is pander to the conservative base and just irritate liberals to no end. That said, Goodell just made up some stuff, because the "quotes" that got Rush in trouble were fabricated, since despite his supposed horribleness, they can find nothing on him despite him talking 3 hours a day on the radio for 20 years. His quote about McNabb was an opinion many have agreed with, and was not in the least bit offensive...though as he points out, the old media continues to bring up race often, especially with QB's.


10/29/2009 07:17:00 PM



(10/29/2009 07:08:00 PM) - Al

Taxing online gambling would raise $42B...yeah, like the boys in Congress could possibly spend that much money.

Hat tip to Gleeman's Twitter feed.


10/29/2009 07:08:00 PM



(10/29/2009 06:41:00 PM) - Al

Matt Stairs will be the Phillies' designated hitter for Game 2 of the World Series.
Raul Ibanez shifts back to left field after DHing in Game 1, with Ben Francisco going to the bench. Francisco provided a massive defensive upgrade and Stairs hit just .194 in limited playing time this season, but manager Charlie Manuel wants to get his left-handed bat in the lineup against right-hander A.J. Burnett.--Rotoworld


Heh. You'd think with all the emphasis casuals put on "small ball", these dumb teams would put some slap hitting reserve INF in the DH spot...because as we all know, nothing leads to vital runs scoring quicker than a 4-3 ground out, or even better, a sac bunt.


10/29/2009 06:41:00 PM


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(10/28/2009 10:53:00 PM) - Al

The Bill James' projections can be found in their entirety here.


10/28/2009 10:53:00 PM



(10/28/2009 09:50:00 PM) - Al

Politicos give $5K tax credit...to those buying a golf cart.

Maybe they should just give them an earmark to buy a golf membership as well.


10/28/2009 09:50:00 PM



(10/28/2009 09:47:00 PM) - Al

Most of you will not be surprised by this at all...metro areas least bothered by recession...those Midwestern cities that the national media only flies over on the way to the coasts.

What's that old saying, "I'm too busy to be depressed?"...


10/28/2009 09:47:00 PM



(10/28/2009 09:42:00 PM) - Al

Satellite photos of the US and world at night...the population density of the eastern US is hard to fathom.


10/28/2009 09:42:00 PM



(10/28/2009 08:46:00 PM) - Al

Senator McCain wonders how the failure to stockpile flu vaccine is related to the government running all aspects of health care.

Ten more earmarks today also, bless him. My favorite, $1M to the Alaska Climate Center. I can take care of that for free...Anchorage, not bad, rest of state, too cold.

A million here, a million there....


10/28/2009 08:46:00 PM



(10/28/2009 08:15:00 PM) - Al

BCB looks at some Bill James projections, and much to the chagrin of many, Cameron's offensive projection is almost identical to Jody Gerut's...though Gerut will cost about 20% what Cam will.

That is pretty much why I have not been figuring on seeing Mike return. The budget is $X, and to me, that looks like a way of getting 80-90% of the production and save $5-8M. To me, it just seems like a relatively easy way to save money for an arm.


10/28/2009 08:15:00 PM



(10/28/2009 07:47:00 PM) - Al

Vasquez or Lowe will likely be the best SP traded this offseason.


10/28/2009 07:47:00 PM



(10/28/2009 07:45:00 PM) - Al

443K students, and no football or basketball team.


10/28/2009 07:45:00 PM



(10/28/2009 07:34:00 PM) - Al

The nanny state wants more of your money, to save you from yourself.

They do seem to be clueless as to how much anger is out there. The idea you can just keep raising taxes on "the rich" and not affect small businesses and the middle class (also known as "the rich") is astoundingly arrogant.


10/28/2009 07:34:00 PM



(10/28/2009 07:27:00 PM) - Al

Rumors already are connecting Washburn to the Brewers. I've already seen folks commenting he's a product of Safeco and the M's OF defense, which is ridiculous, because he's had a better ERA on the road over the past three seasons, and SEA did not have an above average defense until last year.

I'll be the first to admit he's old enough to fade, and he's coming off an injury, but he's been solid for far too many seasons to pretend he's not a good pitcher.


10/28/2009 07:27:00 PM



(10/28/2009 07:45:00 AM) - Al

The rest aside, Afghanistan was the important battle ground back when the Dems were telling us the surge had failed. As a reader mentioned, you can't vote "present", true leadership has to come out, whether that be popular or not.


10/28/2009 07:45:00 AM


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

(10/27/2009 10:08:00 PM) - Al

Libertarians hit new high in poll.

If you'll notice in the article that follows, it says libs are often "fiscally conservative and socially liberal", which does describe myself to a large degree, and, in my view, is the only "proper" perspective of someone who believes that government interference should be minimal. As much as I abhor the idea of abortion being used as birth control, for example, I don't feel it's the place of government to make laws out of what seems to me, a personal decision.

I certainly understand why many are strongly pro-life, but feel their quest to change laws to be very short-sighted...think of all groups could accomplish if they would concentrate on eliminating unwanted pregnancy and promoting adoption, instead of trying to frighten girls as they enter a medical facility.

On the same note, I can't say I especially care about some loser using drugs recreationally, but don't think strict, heavy penalties for selling and distributing are at all over stepping the scope of the state.


10/27/2009 10:08:00 PM



(10/27/2009 07:34:00 PM) - Al

The administration dismisses the SuperFreakonomics gang.

I have a lot more faith in the book than I do someone who blindly ignores them.


10/27/2009 07:34:00 PM



(10/27/2009 07:11:00 PM) - Al

Know what? If the Angels agree to pay him all except $1-2M a season, I'd happily take Matthews and have him play CF. His defense used to be very good, so I assume it's still above average, and even his .325/.383 line in LA isn't that bad for a plus defender in CF.

Add in a bit of an expected boost from moving from the tougher AL to the NL, and the fact he'd probably be playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, he might just be better because he will be giving 100% every PA, which may have been lacking since he signed for a bajillion dollars a few years ago.

EDIT: A look at Gary's career numbers shows two fine seasons while in the offensive paradise of Arlington, and rather humble numbers the rest of the time. His 697 OPS last year is probably very close to his career numbers if you remove those two great years in Texas.


10/27/2009 07:11:00 PM



(10/27/2009 06:27:00 PM) - Al

Reason picks on Biden, whose ratings have went down even though he hasn't been seen in several months.


10/27/2009 06:27:00 PM



(10/27/2009 05:22:00 PM) - Al

The GOP needs to save asinine quotes like this and just run them nonstop come 2010.


10/27/2009 05:22:00 PM



(10/27/2009 04:59:00 PM) - Al

CNN last among cable "news" networks.

Maybe they should concentrate on reporting the news, you know, rather than just making up fiction and calling it news. Watching Andy Cooper is like watching TMZ...no offense to TMZ intended.


10/27/2009 04:59:00 PM


Monday, October 26, 2009

(10/26/2009 11:05:00 PM) - Al

NFL picks, 62-28, and 6-6 against the spread (lost last week's pointspread picks by 1.5 points total).

This week: Chargers, Colts, Packers, Patriots, Jets, Saints, Bears, and Eagles, plus the home teams.

Chi and SD to beat the numbers.

UPDATE: 10-3, 1-1. 72-31, 7-7 on the season.


10/26/2009 11:05:00 PM



(10/26/2009 09:38:00 PM) - Al

Yugo sales video, meant for dealers selling the car. As funny as you would expect.

I don't recall it being as large as it appears, it almost looks similar to a Ford Edge or a hatchback from today. Talk about clunky buttons and such though.


10/26/2009 09:38:00 PM



(10/26/2009 08:59:00 PM) - Al

MLB beats the NFL last night, though not if you take out New York City...though depending on what version of NYC you use, is somewhere between 5-12% of the country (I think the 12% is how many people live within 75 miles of one of the five boroughs of the Big Apple).

Those that wonder why the Yankees and Mets are on ESPN so often fail to understand math.:)

Hat tip to Gleeman's twitter feed.


10/26/2009 08:59:00 PM



(10/26/2009 07:23:00 PM) - Al

I can't believe the Astros have any intention of keeping Jason B on the 40 man roster all winter, so that's a puzzling claim. Maybe they hope to sign him to a minor league deal and think this is a good way to strike up a conversation.

Jason is a nice utility player, especially since he can pretty much play seven positions, but he's well past the stage where he could even be thought of as a Podsednik type of "late developing speed guy".

He is a near perfect guy to have stashed down at AAA, and if that's what HOU have planned, well played.

Also, if he can return to health, Mike Burns is a fine minor league signing, as he is a passable SP and very quietly put together excellent numbers in relief.


10/26/2009 07:23:00 PM


Sunday, October 25, 2009

(10/25/2009 09:35:00 PM) - Al

Glenn notes that global warming is such a problem, everyone is flying to a conference on it...travel restrictions, like those nasty tax hikes, are for the little people.

The hypocrisy is so obvious, I'm not sure why anyone takes it seriously.

Also, I thought the USA was popular now because of Obama...could this have been, perhaps, a fib by the old media?


10/25/2009 09:35:00 PM



(10/25/2009 06:46:00 PM) - Al

Another rather bleak outlook of the US Marines in Afghanistan. Note the constant mention by the actual troops "after we leave". I never recall hearing that, in Iraq or Afghanistan, before this year.


10/25/2009 06:46:00 PM



(10/25/2009 03:30:00 PM) - Al

ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports the Cardinals have fired hitting coach Hal McRae and the leading candidate to replace him is Mark McGwire.

The report may seem strange, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa has a strong relationship with McGwire and a few Cardinals players even train with the former slugger in the offseason. Of course, he'll probably need to finally address the many steroid allegations against him if the hiring process is to run smoothly.--Rotoworld


McGwire won't say a word more than he has already, as it has nothing to do with him being a hitting coach. Of course, there was no rule against steroid use in MLB in those days either, so it's all moot.

I don't think there's much more of a "good ol' boys" network in sports than a coaching staff in baseball.


10/25/2009 03:30:00 PM



(10/25/2009 03:28:00 PM) - Al

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Manny Acta is set to become the Indians' next manager.

He was handed a three-year contract with a club option for 2013. The Indians did their due diligence, hosting interviews with Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke, Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly and Bobby Valentine. But clearly they were most impressed by Acta, the former Nationals skipper. He has a 158-252 career managerial record and was also courted by the Astros.--Rotoworld


Acta was able to get an extra year by negotiating with the Astros, per ESPN's ticker.

One has to wonder if Yost will end up on Acta's staff or back in ATL with Bobby Cox.


10/25/2009 03:28:00 PM



(10/25/2009 02:41:00 PM) - Al

Nice recap by the local paper of why OWI continues to be a problem.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that penalties are far too lenient. A person has to be caught almost a half-dozen times (which realistically, means you have to drink and drive 50+ times) before it's a felony, and most continue to simply drive without a license, so those penalties need to be much higher as well.


10/25/2009 02:41:00 PM



(10/25/2009 02:13:00 PM) - Al

The problems with Ellsbury moving to LF?

1. He'd be awful offensively.

2. Those that watch him play think he's good in CF.

The defensive stats tend to be very inconsistent from year-to-year, which makes me wonder about their accuracy, especially when you start seeing numbers that don't seem to match (I sure see Jacob making fine plays regularly). Also, if you look at the different metrics, the same player will vary wildly, making me question their validity.


10/25/2009 02:13:00 PM



(10/25/2009 01:20:00 PM) - Al

The JS explains why Obamacare is too optimistic and penalizes young people.

It seems to ring true, and argues vehemently against the "magic solution" many seem to think a government plan will be. Hard to believe that fella works at the same place as Tony W.

The one thing I struggle with is not only are the feds incapable of running such a grandiose plan, a simpler one is not even being proposed. As shown with state plans, many people will choose to go to the doctor for a cold, allergies, or the flu because it's free, instead of going to the drug store and buying a $10 bottle of medicine and taking a couple days off; resting, sleeping, and letting your body fight it off. Making all but the extreme poor pay a $20-50 co-pay would cut down on unnecessary visits immensely. Limiting legal liability and introducing various legal reforms would make doctors less likely to order a plethora of tests for simple ailments...I still recall going to the doc with a cough that wouldn't go away, and after a plethora of X-rays, lab tests, and breathing tests, they decided I had walking pneumonia, which is what I guessed, despite my medical knowledge being limited to watching ER for several seasons and being perturbed when Kellie Martin was killed off in the height of her mid 20's (better known as "the glory days" to the species of the human female).

I told everyone that would listen (which, to be fair, is usually the Rambling dog) that all added up, that was probably a $600-1000 visit, and I only paid a tiny co-pay. If a nurse practitioner would have listened to my symptoms and gave me a prescription to break up the gunk, and told me to return in a week if I was still bothered, the system would have saved oodles of cash, and all would have been well. Those "quick care" clinics, found most often in Wal Mart, grocery stores, and such, provide a great service; quick strep tests, ear infection looks, but they haven't seemed to catch on...I have to imagine legal issues and huge insurance premiums are why, as the business model seems perfect. It only takes one idiot to take them to court and ask why an MRI wasn't done for a hangnail to take away a month's worth of profit, and make the insurer raise the liability rates to make it an unprofitable enterprise.

Limiting the reward from an easy settlement, and making these cheap clinics more viable would be a good first step, in addition to disallowing states from making ridiculous stuff, like marriage counseling and drug rehab, have to be covered on every plan (another example of how the nanny state adds to the problem while trying to help). Instead, aiming for every American to have all-inclusive care at no direct cost (but at a huge overall cost), is probably a near impossible order.


10/25/2009 01:20:00 PM



(10/25/2009 11:01:00 AM) - Al

This appears to be a blatant case of the administration fibbing and pretending not to know what W's people did.

Bush fought two wars, and pretty much just left one to fight, and they seem overwhelmed by that number. Plenty of time to do other things though.


10/25/2009 11:01:00 AM


Saturday, October 24, 2009

(10/24/2009 06:51:00 PM) - Al

I was wondering if TLC had any plans on showing any more episodes of The Real Estate Pros, which they supposedly have an entire season of banked.

It was by far the best of the flipping shows, and it featured the lovely Ginger, who was rumored by many to be in a relationship with her boss, Richard...which seems to have indeed been the case.


10/24/2009 06:51:00 PM



(10/24/2009 02:41:00 PM) - Al

More ponderings on whether or not Kelly Johnson may be non-tendered by the Braves.

He sure would be a nice fit as the Brewers' LF or RF, and reserve 2B. He's coming off a down year, but he was injured and that likely affected his production. Johnson is similar to a young Catalanotto, or as Doug would say, a "professional hitter".


10/24/2009 02:41:00 PM


Friday, October 23, 2009

(10/23/2009 09:25:00 PM) - Al

So, how exactly did being terrible parents help them get a reality show?

What idiots.


10/23/2009 09:25:00 PM



(10/23/2009 08:06:00 PM) - Al

Yeah, he's still really popular.

It's been nine months. It's off-the-charts.


10/23/2009 08:06:00 PM



(10/23/2009 06:55:00 PM) - Al

Bogut makes a lukewarm prediction of success.

I'm torn, as my casual fandom notes a couple things about this year's version:

1. In all seriousness, this looks to be as deep as any team in recent memory...they won't play 15 guys most nights...but they could. Contrasts that with last year...when they only had 14 on the roster, and one was a NBDL vet, and another was Damon Jones, who could do nothing except shoot 3's.

2. That said, while the 13th-15th men are no doubt improved, it's tough to lose solid players like Charlie V and Ramon Sessions and get nothing in return. They also dumped Richard Jefferson's salary and got only a couple role players in return...Jefferson's 15-20 points a night kept the Bucks in a lot of games last year after Redd went down.

So, in theory, Ridnour and Jennings should be adequate at the point, as will Redd and Bell at the 2. Bogut, veteran Kurt Thomas, and Elson/Gadzuric should be fine in the middle. Hakim Warrick came to MIL to get playing time and he has shown flashes of brilliance. Ersan I returns after a couple years in Europe, Delfino will be fine, and LMM is a year older and more mature.

That does not look like a horrible team at all, but if a couple guys go down, they could be very weak pretty quick. While it's nice having 13-15 be solid, I sure wish 1-8 was.


10/23/2009 06:55:00 PM



(10/23/2009 06:00:00 PM) - Al

Alyssa Milano twitters out this Maxim article about a perfect seating chart at the wedding reception.

For me, I always sit at home, as I haven't attended a wedding since the last of the Rambling in-laws got hitched. I find them all cliched and stupid, but then again, being sober is probably not the best way to attend such a function.


10/23/2009 06:00:00 PM



(10/23/2009 05:35:00 PM) - Al

Adam looks at Sheets' rehab, and he's looking to be ready by spring training. Many teams will have interest, as he seems very likely to sign a one year, "prove he's healthy" type of contract, much like Mark Mulder and many others.

As we found out last year, even if Sheets only throws 100-120 innings, he is very valuable, as that's 120 fewer frames your other SP's have to cover. The problem with Ben is, he's as likely to miss 5.5 months as he is a month or two.


10/23/2009 05:35:00 PM



(10/23/2009 05:16:00 PM) - Al

SD takes one of Theo's assistants to be GM. Note how he's already offered two former GM's jobs in the system...always a step ahead.


10/23/2009 05:16:00 PM



(10/23/2009 03:38:00 PM) - Al

Freakonomics talks about global warming, and they will be featured on 20/20 tonight! Those guys make all numbers interesting. I agree with their quiz, though I don't think a degree is "substantial".


10/23/2009 03:38:00 PM



(10/23/2009 02:46:00 PM) - Al

Al,

The delay in making a decision on Afghanistan is exactly what people meant when we discussed Obama "voting present" so often as a legislator. You've pointed out how he voted against funding the war as a senator to play politics, and voting against increasing the debt ceiling, and now has the exact opposite view, asking senators NOT to do this.

He's a candle in the wind. He has no idea what to do next, because he makes his decisions based on everything except his well thought out views, he has none. He is puzzled because spending money like mad has not worked. It's Jimmy Carter all over again, but I do not see Ronald Reagan saving us again.

James


I will add nothing to your opinion except to say, if your commander says you need to add a minimum of 40K troops, you either need to do so, get a new commander, or "cut and run". None are wonderful options, but it does make you appreciate the way Iraq, deemed lost dozens of times by Hank Reid and others still fumbling in power, was won.


10/23/2009 02:46:00 PM



(10/23/2009 02:34:00 PM) - Al

Amazon appears to have chosen not to participate in the down economy. Wal Mart has been doing fine as well. Good businesses make it through difficult times.

I used to make some decent money playing poker online, almost all of it through bonuses for playing so many raked hands. When the UIGEA went through, making some wimpy sites leave the US, and making bonuses hard to come by, I've learned the only way to do well is to play near perfectly, which meant improving the holes in my game. It's no fun admitting that, but it's true. Business works the exact same way.


10/23/2009 02:34:00 PM



(10/23/2009 02:16:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling brother wonders about Mike Scoscia walking ARod...up one, bases empty, two outs in the 9th last night.

I never tuned in until the 9th, and suffice it to say, I was embarrassed by it, as simply put, the math simply doesn't work. Even if you go right after ARod, he's not going to hit a HR very often...this year, 30 homers in 447 AB's + SF's. That's 417 times he "did not" hit a HR. When you put him on 1B, with two outs, a double scores him...Matsui had 50 extra base hits, and even a walk puts the runner in scoring position, where a base hit or even an error will often score the run.

I'm not suggesting to challenge ARod on Fuentes 88 mph "heat". See if he chases fastballs up and out of the zone, see if chases junk in the dirt. But don't be afraid of ARod tying things up that you put yourself at a greater risk of losing the game.


10/23/2009 02:16:00 PM


Thursday, October 22, 2009

(10/22/2009 10:09:00 PM) - Al

Global warming not believed by nearly as many.

I'm no scientist, but I think it might be because it's gotten cooler in the last decade. There's a reason they changed it to "climate change"...it ain't "warming".


10/22/2009 10:09:00 PM



(10/22/2009 10:04:00 PM) - Al

Ann links to a study showing "progressive" cities are far whiter than old fuddy-duddy regular cities.

I think that means Portland, Seattle, and Austin are so full of mind-numbingly stupid Caucasians that minorities are intelligent enough to stay away.


10/22/2009 10:04:00 PM



(10/22/2009 09:56:00 PM) - Al

Less than a year in, and they seem as lost as humanly possible. No decision of Afghanistan (waiting for more polls data, but plenty of time to play games with the media.

My goodness.


10/22/2009 09:56:00 PM



(10/22/2009 09:44:00 PM) - Al

On the one hand, it is 4.5 more years than the idiots got for watching their daughter die. On the other hand, it's two decades less than the maximum sentence.

One does have to wonder why in the world WI possesses so many liberal, light sentencing judges. You get the feeling that's not the platform they ran on.


10/22/2009 09:44:00 PM



(10/22/2009 07:46:00 PM) - Al

Don Denkinger says the umpiring has been "kind of a disaster".

That's all you need to hear.


10/22/2009 07:46:00 PM



(10/22/2009 06:35:00 PM) - Al

The irony here, people focus on how Leno lost to a cable show, but ABC did too, and barely beat Leno.

Jay's show was never expected to beat first run dramas like CSI: Miami and the like, but will do very well when up against repeats.


10/22/2009 06:35:00 PM



(10/22/2009 12:13:00 PM) - Al

Senator John McCain is again tweeting his top ten wasteful earmarks...I would think he'd run out soon...but not with this group in DC.


10/22/2009 12:13:00 PM



(10/22/2009 12:01:00 PM) - Al

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, multiple teams have contacted the Cubs about Milton Bradley.

"You would be shocked at the level of interest," said one source. According to Rosenthal, the Cubs are confident that they can move Bradley without having to eat the "vast majority" of the $21 million owed to him over the past two seasons. Just how much another team would have to absorb remains to be seen, but someone will surely take a chance on his talent. The Rays have emerged as an early potential suitor.--Rotoworld


Bradley has been a hothead in the past, but suffered from being honest and playing through injuries last year...and still managed a .380+ OBP. Needless to say, that's an attractive combo, as who knows how he'll do if he can get healthy (and/or DH).


10/22/2009 12:01:00 PM



(10/22/2009 10:12:00 AM) - Al

I find the irony here...the government that is running a 1T deficit...this year, is now explaining to huge corporations how they have to cut costs, that those who say the administration is putting forth a socialist agenda is now seeing them limiting compensation...almost the epitome of a "step one".


10/22/2009 10:12:00 AM


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

(10/21/2009 09:21:00 PM) - Al

A couple years ago, I would have said this was an awful idea.

But, since the umpiring has been at the level of a drunken stupor, sadly, I have to say it has merits. Of course, we can also quit pretending we need to baby the umpires if we have someone in the press box correcting all their mistakes.

I know, it's hot out there.


10/21/2009 09:21:00 PM



(10/21/2009 08:05:00 PM) - Al

She should at least be arrested for trespassing. Seriously, cops have enough to do without being brought into some diva's drama.


10/21/2009 08:05:00 PM



(10/21/2009 05:52:00 PM) - Al

Gord Ash did a nice chat with fans today. He mentions they may do a "futures" game in the future in September at Miller Park. I wish they'd bring in a couple affiliates ech year...maybe Appleton and one other that would rotate...though I suppose the Crew would have to pay for the charter themselves.


10/21/2009 05:52:00 PM



(10/21/2009 02:21:00 PM) - Al

I'm not sure I believe the replay on the first one--Tim McClellan, on the first of his once in a lifetime, two completely blown calls within minutes of each other.

I'm not sure I believe this clod still has a job. On the other, he says "I was expecting them to both be on the base". Again, both were apparent to everyone in the ballpark, so the other umpires should have pointed this out, but we might be forced to witness a complete revamping of how the grand old game is called because of how inept these fellas are.


10/21/2009 02:21:00 PM


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

(10/20/2009 10:50:00 PM) - Al

Al,

More than a few times this year, I thought you were stretching the truth a bit on how bad the umpiring was. I worked second shift much of the summer, so my Brewers' viewing was limited. Now, I'm on third shift until spring, and I am able to watch an inning or two of the playoffs before going to work.

Thus far, the umps have been brutal. Night is day. Black is white. Hillary Clinton is a fine looking woman.

It's as bad as it gets. I'm not sure what the answer is, but the question has to be asked: How much worse could it be?

Patrick


I was so busy laughing at the Clinton joke, I missed his giggle inducing "able to watch an inning or two" before 10 or 11PM until I was fixing the punctuation.

I hear there was another gaffe (or two) tonight, but I was watching poker.

UPDATE: Just watched ESPN's recap...two calls that were as bad as that foul ball...and pardon me, but both seemingly should have been overruled.

What we have here is massive incompetence, and the crew does not seem to remotely care about getting it right. In both cases, the 3B ump totally blows the call (Tim McClellan, who should have been fired 20 years ago for his delayed ball/strike call, never mind anything else), but the home plate umpire should have seen both and changed them both, they were obvious to everyone in the ballpark.

Oof.


10/20/2009 10:50:00 PM



(10/20/2009 10:31:00 PM) - Al

Senator John McCain (or as known to many college-aged fellas, Meghan's dad) lists a bunch of wasteful spending projects our government finds vital, despite much proof otherwise.

This is why we must have Twitter.


10/20/2009 10:31:00 PM



(10/20/2009 09:54:00 PM) - Al

$1.4T...what could it buy?


10/20/2009 09:54:00 PM



(10/20/2009 08:10:00 PM) - Al

I watched most of the ESPN short film on the USFL, which sure makes Donald Trump look bad and shortsighted, while making the league itself look like a huge success, considering they played football at an odd time of year and struggled in some markets.

They averaged about 25K a game, and the ratings they showed during the doc, 5.7 and 6.1, would be huge today, but I'm not sure back then (MLB averaged a 2 this past year on ESPN, I think). The MLS is considered pretty successful, and has never approached numbers like that.

I vaguely recall watching some games on Sundays, and was always struck by the bright, colorful uniforms and how much fun the players and coaches seemed to have...and both those were apparent tonight, 25 years later. The NFL, both then and now, seems very uptight and basking in rules (this year, late hits on both the QB and "defenseless" players, mostly WR's going over the middle, have many of us wondering "um, that's football isn't it?"

One has to wonder what would have happened if they would have remained in the spring


10/20/2009 08:10:00 PM



(10/20/2009 05:51:00 PM) - Al

It's like Al Gore...he shows up, and it gets cold!!


10/20/2009 05:51:00 PM



(10/20/2009 05:26:00 PM) - Al

Fielder for Ellsbury and Bowden is a "made up trade" at NBC.com.

No offense to the author, but I like to think a top five hitter in the game is worth more than a speedy CF and a very good pitching prospect. Prince is worth a #2 SP and Ellsbury, never mind a guy who might be a #2 SP someday.

Granted, to some organizations, a cheap youngster is worth more, especially if they can't afford the $10M a quality SP costs.


10/20/2009 05:26:00 PM



(10/20/2009 03:50:00 PM) - Al

The USS Mariner says a Brandon Morrow/JJ Hardy swap makes sense, and I've been saying the same thing, so I have agree. Morrow is not a #3 SP like they would hope to get, but he is just 24, and throws hard, meaning he has #2/3 SP potential.

I would want a middling prospect in addition, but the Mariners' fans would probably say the same thing.


10/20/2009 03:50:00 PM



(10/20/2009 03:23:00 PM) - Al

Rick Peterson hired, Stan Kyles back as bullpen coach, and Chris Bosio will also return, probably as an advance scout, or back with AAA Nashville.


10/20/2009 03:23:00 PM


Monday, October 19, 2009

(10/19/2009 07:57:00 PM) - Al

CNBC and Reuters blindly post fake press release.

The old media, quality first.


10/19/2009 07:57:00 PM



(10/19/2009 07:09:00 PM) - Al

Mike Lupica argues the Yankees have the best fans.

Considering that they did not sell out their LCS games, as well as the abundance of other reasons given, sounds like silliness to me.


10/19/2009 07:09:00 PM



(10/19/2009 05:41:00 PM) - Al

Biggest issue on sacks was communication. There were a few problems there. Felt pass protection was very good yesterday other than that.--Mike McCarthy presser recap, per the JS

I suppose everything was good in pass protection, if you ignore the sacks. Heh.


10/19/2009 05:41:00 PM



(10/19/2009 03:44:00 PM) - Al

Glenn wonders if the H1N1 vaccine shortage will be Obama's Katrina.

I do recall Hillary criticizing W about a flu vaccine shortage, was that '07? Besides, no one dares be critical...they will lose access like Fox has.


10/19/2009 03:44:00 PM



(10/19/2009 03:34:00 PM) - Al

Gordon Brown sounds like he may be exaggerating a wee bit...but of course, that's par for the course.


10/19/2009 03:34:00 PM



(10/19/2009 03:18:00 PM) - Al

Tom H is unhappy with people reporting talk radio rumors as fact.

Sadly, that's what gives all of us a bad name.

Also, he expects Peterson to be named as pitching coach any minute now.


10/19/2009 03:18:00 PM



(10/19/2009 12:46:00 AM) - Al

All options being considered...except spending and taxing less.

After all, Reagan's policies didn't work...right?


10/19/2009 12:46:00 AM


Sunday, October 18, 2009

(10/18/2009 11:22:00 PM) - Al

The White House admits to leading the old media around on a leash like the fools they are.


10/18/2009 11:22:00 PM



(10/18/2009 10:59:00 PM) - Al

Perry Hill stepped down from his post as Pirates infield coach Saturday and shared some criticisms of the club on his way out.

Hill, who also served as the Bucs' in-game first base coach, believes the team was too aggressive on the trade market this season. After all, the Pirates shipped off three-fourths of their infield (Jack Wilson, Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez). "The Pirates made their statement," Hill said. It was time for me to go. I won't be back with the Pirates next year."--Rotoworld


You can almost hear him talking about losing "grit" and "hustle", and how these kids just aren't as smart as they were "back in my day". Good riddance. The Pirates are finally building it up the way they should have a decade ago.


10/18/2009 10:59:00 PM



(10/18/2009 09:36:00 PM) - Al

Flag sticker not allowed on locker...even though flag decal is on uniform.

Common sense...nowhere to be found.


10/18/2009 09:36:00 PM



(10/18/2009 09:03:00 PM) - Al

The Brewers finish 6th in ratings, and 19th in households watching per game.


10/18/2009 09:03:00 PM



(10/18/2009 07:32:00 PM) - Al

The SP's:

Yo Gallardo--High walk rate, and possibly concentration issues aside, he's one of the best young arms in the game today. Needless to say, he'll be the top man on the staff.

Manny Parra--Whoever the new pitching coach is, Parra will be his prize pupil. Manny is a lefty who throws 93-94, and should be able to go 5 innings and not embarrass himself on that fact alone. Some will say he threw better in the second half, which is results oriented and untrue...his OPSA was actually higher after the break.

He is a walking example of ADD, whose mental lapses will drive you bonkers (he walked the pitcher six times, all the other pitchers combined, eleven), but there's little doubt he possesses the second best stuff in the rotation. Despite his awful results, I'm sure 25-28 teams would be happy to put him in their rotation next year. His value is low, so I have to imagine he'll return. I wish I knew if he had an option remaining, just in case (I just checked, and I would guess he had a pair, but he has to have at least one).

Dave Bush--I don't think he will return, as he has one year left of arby before free agency, and I will estimate he'll get rewarded for his solid healthy, pre-injury performance with a raise to about $5-6M...and considering he never came back effectively, I doubt the Brewers will risk it. Very solid when healthy, 33-31, 4.57 ERA from '06-'08, and a 4.58 ERA before his injury in '09...and a 9.27 ERA after. If Dave was healthy, Looper's option would be unlikely to be picked up.

Braden Looper--He has a mutual option for $6.5M, and the Crew can buy it out for $1M...that's a $5.5M net on a guy who'll likely be projected for a 4.60 ERA in '10. Had minor surgery to "clean out" a knee, which he hinted may have bothered him at times. Given his ability to eat innings, I think the Crew will exercise their half, though I'm not sure Looper will, if he's healthy, he may well find a two year guarantee, or a richer one-year contract, in this pitching poor free agent class. He will be tradeable, unlike Soup.

Jeff Suppan--Still dependable, still takes the ball, and still overpaid. Probably projects to an ERA just above Looper, pitched somewhat effectively (4.43 ERA before injury, 4.76 ERA before his last three starts at partial strength) until an oblique strain put him on the DL and he pitched at 75% much of the rest of way. Unless dealt for another big contract, he will probably be at the back of the rotation next April, as Braden is similar but will have suitors due to his salary, half what Jeff's will be.

Chris Narveson--Very impressive late, and while he does not project any better than most others, he'll make the minimum for several more seasons, and also has no options, and is unlikely to pass through again after his fine September, like he did earlier in '09. Will probably begin '10 in the bullpen, and provide rotation depth that was missing last year.


10/18/2009 07:32:00 PM



(10/18/2009 06:39:00 PM) - Al

NFL picks:

Panthers, Eagles, and all the other home teams.

Vikings and Steelers to beat the spread.

53-23 thus far, and 6-4 against the spread.

UPDATE: While I admit to taking a grand total of about 90 seconds to make my picks, I pondered two upsets for about 60 of those 90 seconds...the Bills over the Jets (which is tied in the 4th) and the Titans over the Pats (which is why I usually go the safe route).


10/18/2009 06:39:00 PM



(10/18/2009 06:11:00 PM) - Al

I had said I could not believe anyone was stupid and selfish enough to stage such a "hoax".

I guess I was wrong.


10/18/2009 06:11:00 PM



(10/18/2009 04:59:00 PM) - Al

Previews of 2010 roles for the bullpen guys:

Trevor Hoffman--Heh, how's that for starting with the easy one. If healthy, Trevor will be the closer. I wish he'd be willing to work a bit more, and possibly go 4-5 outs once in a while (before off days especially), but as long as he's as good as he was last year, you can look the other way at those minor things.

Todd Coffey--Take away a bad game or two, he was every bit as good as Hoffman, with oodles more velocity and the ability to induce a double play early and often. If the Brewers were coming off a 70 win season rather than 80, I'd have been on board for letting Trevor move on and using Coffey in that role.

Mitch Stetter--Casuals will say Mitch got tired as the campaign wore on, but while not untrue, simplifies things a bit much. If you look at his monthly splits, a better recap might be Stetter was unhittable in June, and just passable the rest of the year.

I expect him to be back in the same role in '10, but I would not be shocked to see a quality southpaw added, as I am positive Doug is aware of his overall mediocreness. A 14-8 BB/K ratio after the break is cause to worry. It seems like he barely pitched late, but his appearances were not much lower...he was used more as a loogy, and likely got up far less.

Mark DiFelice--Another guy who seemed like a second half fade, and his monthly splits show him to be far less effective in August and September. His splits to righties are off the charts, he and Stetter can be depended on versus same sided hitters. He'll have a spot to lose, but his health may determine his future.

Claudio Vargas--Picked up for semi-useful utility player Vinny Rottino at the July deadline, Vargas was as good as it gets the final two months, and seemed to get stronger as the season concluded (which may be directly related to the fact he did not pitch until July). He'll get paid nicely in arby, and will go into the mix in the bullpen.

Carlos Villanueva--CV was an enigma, shuttling between very good and blech. He was equally effective versus both LH's and RH's, and much of his ineffectiveness was as a SP. He seems to have plateaued a bit, as he will be 27 next year. I would not be surprised at all to see CV packaged with Hardy or Hart. He may well find a groove and be a quality set-up man, or maybe even a 4th/5th starter. However, he will soon cease being inexpensive, and at this point, probably isn't much better than many other guys who will only make the minimum.

Dave Weathers--I like Stormy, but a $3.75M option, a so-so stretch for the Crew, and he's almost as old as me...add all that up, he's likely to be elsewhere in '10, or at home counting white bags with a $ sign on the side, as he is rumored to be considering retirement.

John Axford--Will probably start '10 in Nashville as the closer, but he sure has the raw stuff to have success in the majors. Hopefully, he'll dominate AAA and be the first guy to return when someone is injured or ineffective. Needs to work on hitting the corner at 92 instead of missing by a foot at 95+.

Chris Smith--Veteran did a wonderful job of eating up innings, mostly in lopsided affairs. Minimal ceiling due to lack of size and velocity, but while I doubt he'll be given a spot on the 40 man, I hope they go after him hard, hoping he'll sign a minor league spot, maybe with an "out" clause if not on the 40 by June 1st, or something like that.

Seth McClung--I'm a fan of Seth, but he's a year away from free agency and while very good in the first half, struggled with injury and effectiveness in the second half. A big guy who throws hard and often picked up an inning he likely shouldn't have, overuse may have led to his fatigue and disabled list time. I like him as a long man with #6/7 SP ability, but considering he'll likely get $2M+ in arby, he may well end up elsewhere.

Seth would be as tough a call as I had to make. Giving up a guy who can throw 95-96 with consistency is a call that can easily come back to haunt you, especially a guy who had a 3.95 ERA as a reliever last year, after a 3.67 ERA in '08. Personally, I'd probably pencil McClung and Narveson into the final two spots in the bullpen, and use them, along with Josh Butler, who'll begin the year in AAA, as my rotation depth, along with hopefully a young SP who'll be picked up in a trade.


10/18/2009 04:59:00 PM



(10/18/2009 04:50:00 PM) - Al

I turned back to the football, and our doubleheader game is 38-0, still in the 2nd quarter.

Hopefully, they'll have a quick hook, as I'd rather watch some guy mow his lawn.

The announcers said the Pats will probably play their starters until the 4th quarter. On a snpowy field, Tom Brady with a bad knee, I doubt they will, and I doubt they'll even throw the ball in the second half.


10/18/2009 04:50:00 PM



(10/18/2009 04:48:00 PM) - Al

The Daily News expects the Crew and Rick Peterson to end up together.

Hat tip to MLBTR.


10/18/2009 04:48:00 PM



(10/18/2009 01:49:00 PM) - Al

75 Hottest Sitcom Stars does a good job of including many "sleepers" (Leah Remini, Crystal Bernard, Danielle Fishel, Lea Thompson, Melissa Joan Hart) as well as the obvious (Christina Applegate, Hayley Cuoco).

Also, it sure is easy to forget how gorgeous Kristie Alley was once upon a time.


10/18/2009 01:49:00 PM



(10/18/2009 12:58:00 PM) - Al

Eric links me up to this silliness, which apparently is nothing more than a talk radio discussion. Prepare to be underwhelmed.


10/18/2009 12:58:00 PM



(10/18/2009 12:44:00 PM) - Al

What amazes me is how exceptionally thin-skinned the entire administration is...every single media outlet lobs softballs and sucks up nonstop...except one, and they can't handle it (or ignore it).


10/18/2009 12:44:00 PM


Saturday, October 17, 2009

(10/17/2009 11:50:00 PM) - Al

The box wouldn't fit in the car, so she had her child sit in the box...on top of the car.

Luckily, for safety's sake, she used a clothes hanger to keep it from falling.

Because rope is so overrated.

Thanks to Dave Barry's blog for this and the previous three snippets.


10/17/2009 11:50:00 PM



(10/17/2009 11:44:00 PM) - Al

Remember that time I was in labor, and you got arrested for feeling up the nurse?


10/17/2009 11:44:00 PM



(10/17/2009 11:41:00 PM) - Al

The name fits. What a loon.


10/17/2009 11:41:00 PM



(10/17/2009 11:40:00 PM) - Al

Toddler escapes from a daycare center, rescued in street.

Note the name of the day care.


10/17/2009 11:40:00 PM



(10/17/2009 10:53:00 PM) - Al

Six plus minutes of Kramer entrances, in order.

This is why we have the internet.


10/17/2009 10:53:00 PM



(10/17/2009 08:05:00 PM) - Al

Letterman's ratings soar since affairs admitted.

If this doesn't prove there is no such thing as bad publicity, I don't know what will.


10/17/2009 08:05:00 PM



(10/17/2009 05:11:00 PM) - Al

Bryan Price named pitching coach for the Reds.


10/17/2009 05:11:00 PM



(10/17/2009 04:10:00 PM) - Al

Did you know UCLA and USC are both located in Los Angeles? That seems strange.


10/17/2009 04:10:00 PM



(10/17/2009 04:00:00 PM) - Al

Repeat after me...there is no such thing as clutch.

Cliches, casuals, and carelessness...it's kind of sad.


10/17/2009 04:00:00 PM



(10/17/2009 02:55:00 PM) - Al

I don't know enough to really comment, but if John Kerry is against it, that alone is a good reason.


10/17/2009 02:55:00 PM



(10/17/2009 02:43:00 PM) - Al

How dare they provide good health care that their employees like? It defeats the whole union argument, darn it!!


10/17/2009 02:43:00 PM



(10/17/2009 02:19:00 PM) - Al

All things being equal, where should Al go to see the Brewers play on the road next year?
Colorado
Atlanta
Pittsburgh
Houston
  
pollcode.com free polls


Astoundingly, a tie between Colorado and Pittsburgh, after being up for a week. The Rambling family is leaning strongly toward Denver, though Houston and Pittsburgh is still up for consideration. Atlanta has been eliminated because I'm afraid I might melt.

Every time I think about it, I think how great it would be if Las Vegas had a team, as that would be a huge boon for road teams to travel, especially the first few seasons. They could draw 3M fans and have over 50% unfriendlies in the seats.


10/17/2009 02:19:00 PM



(10/17/2009 01:40:00 PM) - Al

Who would be your top pick for the Brewers to sign as a free agent SP?
Jarrod Washburn
Doug Davis
Carl Pavano
Joel Piniero
Jason Marquis
Harden or Bedard (higher ceiling, higher injury risk)
None of the above
  
pollcode.com free polls


Thought I'd give this a bump and comment on the results.

The "winner" was a high ceiling/high injury risk like Harden or Bedard (you could easily include Sheets in that as well), but that's misleading, as 50% more people voted for one of the more consistent, if unspectacular pitchers, Doug Davis leading the way, with Joel Piniero right behind. I do find it strange Piniero did so well and Marquis so badly, as they are almost the same pitcher.

I said it before, and I'll say it again, I'd love to see Davis return. Adding him and a younger SP in a Hardy trade would do wonders to make the rotation good enough to compete, if Gallardo stays healthy and Parra returns to previous form.


10/17/2009 01:40:00 PM



(10/17/2009 01:36:00 PM) - Al

The Badgers look to be going down to Iowa, while Purdue may pull a huge upset over The Ohio State University. The Big Ten could, in theory, send almost every team to a bowl game, especially considering lesser bowls love to select Big Ten teams because they tend to travel well. As of today, all but Purdue and Illinois would probably be invited.


10/17/2009 01:36:00 PM



(10/17/2009 01:01:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I admit to being a dittohead, but if Rush is so bad, why do people have to make up quotes? And why are the accusers on record as saying worse things?

Patrick


Good questions, and the answers will be difficult to easily find.


10/17/2009 01:01:00 PM



(10/17/2009 11:48:00 AM) - Al

You'd think a stuck up private school would be smarter than this.


10/17/2009 11:48:00 AM



(10/17/2009 11:31:00 AM) - Al

Rush responds to critics. I had forgotten about Sharpton's brushes with the law and Jackson's religious slurs. He does not mention the other NFL minority owners use of the lovely "n word", as others did last night.

However, it's difficult to imagine this not coming back in upcoming elections. Flyover country isn't fond of apparent double standards, even if they are not fans of Rush. The old media has no idea how disliked Ted Kennedy was in most of America, and they have had to use fiction to try and destroy W and now Limbaugh. I doubt that will be forgotten.


10/17/2009 11:31:00 AM


Friday, October 16, 2009

(10/16/2009 09:44:00 PM) - Al

Rick Majerus writes an e-mail about Craig Counsell.

I hope he's back as well.


10/16/2009 09:44:00 PM



(10/16/2009 06:43:00 PM) - Al

The NFL's "line in the sand" about who can own a team seems to have been...wait for it...unfairly used against fictional things Rush Limbaugh said, but unenforced when attractive young women were involved.

What a sad world.

UPDATE: MSNBC admits to using fictional quote, wonders why ratings same as test pattern.


10/16/2009 06:43:00 PM



(10/16/2009 05:36:00 PM) - Al

Gleeman reports many good (not as bad) umpires were unavailable because they claimed to be injured (or were just plain exhausted from working 3 hours a day all summer, except for their 4 weeks off).


10/16/2009 05:36:00 PM



(10/16/2009 04:48:00 PM) - Al

Drunken mom couldn't quite make it to school to pick up kids, blows a 0.31.

Oof.


10/16/2009 04:48:00 PM



(10/16/2009 03:58:00 PM) - Al

USA Today says the administration is being fiscally irresponsible giving seniors extar cash.

Par for the course, I'd say.


10/16/2009 03:58:00 PM



(10/16/2009 03:41:00 PM) - Al

I barely know any Spanish (incredibly sad considering I took it for 3 semesters in high school and one in college), but you don't need to to enjoy these Honduran announcers celebrating the US soccer team tying their match versus Costa Rica, who Honduras was chasing. The joy begins at about the 25 second mark.


10/16/2009 03:41:00 PM



(10/16/2009 03:24:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I linked your Meghan McCain thoughts and e-mailed it out to several friends I thought might enjoy your stuff. That's one for the resume, as it includes your trademark off the beaten path humor, irreverent links to pop culture, and common sense musings about what the hell has become of the media today. Miss McCain is dumb as a fox, and the thousands (millions?) of hits seem proof to me that while not a size two, she has the goods.

Harold


Thank you for the kind words, Harold, and yes, she can put butts in the seats even though she weighs in at > 110 pounds.

I didn't realize I had any trademarks, so thanks for the info.:) All I do is put up stuff I like to read, and hope some others do too.


10/16/2009 03:24:00 PM



(10/16/2009 03:20:00 PM) - Al

I think the parents are publicity seeking bozos, but I doubt this was a hoax. The story is a bit odd (my 7 year-old "falls asleep" during the day once every six months or so), but surely they knew this sort of false statements to a police officer would land them in trouble...even idiots like this know that.

That said, if they named a kid Falcon...


10/16/2009 03:20:00 PM



(10/16/2009 03:13:00 PM) - Al

A pool store owner shows a defeatist attitude.

The problem is, small businesses like that need to build loyalty of customers by knowing their products better, being competitive in price (though predictably a bit more), and, most of all, be open when the customer wishes to shop. Cutting back hours to save a couple bucks on overhead (since most business owners don't pay themselves, I doubt they are saving labor) tells me they don't want my business.


10/16/2009 03:13:00 PM



(10/16/2009 02:54:00 PM) - Al

Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch had breakfast with Eric Byrnes on Wednesday to discuss the outfielder's future.

"We just wanted to sit down and lay out what's in front of him," said the D'Backs' general manager. Byrnes is entering the final year of a three-year, $30 million deal he signed in August of 2007. He's had two consecutive disappointing seasons, mostly due to injuries, and won't have a starting job in the Arizona outfield next season. He's a candidate to be traded this winter, but the D'Backs might have to eat most of his remaining salary.--Rotoworld


I continue to ponder if a Suppan/Byrnes swap wouldn't be best for both teams. I like Jeff more than most, and have no problem saying he has more value, as a guy you can pencil in for 30 starts, 180-200 innings, and a 4.50-5 ERA (his game log indicates a 4.43 before his injury, and a 4.76 before his final two starts). He is probably a bit of a victim of his own circumstance, he takes the ball regardless of if he "should" take the ball, and could have easily told the team he should "shut it down" late in the season when his ERA was around 4.50 and he couldn't even swing the bat. But, he gave the team several good starts before struggling late, and saw his ERA rise right at the end of the year. Suppan certainly is not worth $12M, but he'd probably get a $3-4M one-year offer if he were a free agent.

Byrnes has been terrible the last two seasons, but still hits LHP, so is reduced to a $10M bench/platoon guy. To a team like the D'Backs, he's a failed former star, to anyone else, he's a good (but overpriced) platoon mate for a lefty OF (such as Gerut, Catalanotto, or even FA Rick Ankiel).

The Crew might prefer to keep Looper for $5.5M net, but a swap would give ARI an SP spot filled and MIL a platoon mate for a LH OF bat. That said, it makes far too much sense to ever happen.

And, Byrnes is one of those irritating guys who makes himself the center of attention (sprinting to 1B on a walk, falling down and tumbling after a throw to the plate), while Soup is as classy a guy as exists in the majors, doing work for several charities and veteran's organizations. That alone could make a difference, as Doug has shown little patience for anything but good fellas.


10/16/2009 02:54:00 PM



(10/16/2009 02:37:00 PM) - Al

Hat tip to BCB, read about Krispy Kreme's resurgence (oops, just gained a pound).

Money quote:

In short, Krispy Kreme managed to lose money despite selling something that was cheap and delicious.

The only thing more mind-boggling than that is how many movie chains have had to restructure (gone bankrupt) despite selling a popcorn and carbonated beverage combo for $9, which has a margin of about 95%.

Debt is an evil thing, my friends.


10/16/2009 02:37:00 PM



(10/16/2009 02:33:00 PM) - Al

MPD wants me to tell you about his story about the JS crew.

I never would have known it was fictional if he wouldn't have mentioned it...although, Tony W did seem a bit overly intelligent.

Some language at the link, but you're big boys and girls.


10/16/2009 02:33:00 PM



(10/16/2009 02:27:00 PM) - Al

Adam says the Crew is close to hiring Rick Peterson, who is apparently known for lengthy negotiations. Sounds like it's close to done deal, unless Rick just decides to go elsewhere...plenty of offers, it would seem. I can't see $50-100K per season holding things up. That said, the sticking point may well be the length of the contract, as Macha is only signed through '10.


10/16/2009 02:27:00 PM


Thursday, October 15, 2009

(10/15/2009 11:06:00 PM) - Al

MLB did seem to leave the worst umps out of the LCS's...now the next step would be to remove the worst from the sport each year.

Somehow, I doubt Phil Cuzzi is all that sad being asked to start his...five month vacation a week early.


10/15/2009 11:06:00 PM



(10/15/2009 10:24:00 PM) - Al

Meghan McCain says the media needs to stop making fun of fat gals...including herself.

Of course, to be fair, McCain, as well as some other ladies mentioned, Jessica Simpson and Kelly Clarkson especially, are far from "fat"...they might be carrying around a few extra pounds, but many guys, myself included, much prefer that to the "skinny look" which permeates the runways and TV/movie screens (which is, of course, why I didn't marry a model, but hence, I digress). Even worse, if I was dating a skinny girl, I looked even fatter by comparison.

Last night, McCain put a picture up on Twitter that showed her plans for the night...holding a book, dressed in casual attire. However, it set the site for minimal attention spans ablaze, because Ms. McCain was wearing a tank top...which if you are aware of her build, pretty much proves my oft-said statement:

It's not the shirt on the girl, it's the girl under the shirt.

It wasn't risque in the least, unless you have a body like Meghan. Or Jessica Simpson. Sadly, as I went to link it, it has been deleted, which saddens me, because I did not make it my screensaver when I had the opportunity last night. Of course, I'm joking...I don't know how to change my screensaver.

Luckily, the New York Daily News (the New York Daily News!!) found the space to run this "news item", with the "racy" picture of the mid 20's blonde.

To be honest, unless you are Amish or think a normal woman is 5-10, 105 pounds, I doubt you'll be offended in the least. However, at the end of the day, the mere idea this passes as news 24 hours later is pure hilarity.

EDIT: Tonight, Meghan on Twitter:

OK, at least I didn't dupe the media into thinking I flew away in a homemade balloon :-)

If I didn't love her before, I would now.


10/15/2009 10:24:00 PM



(10/15/2009 08:58:00 PM) - Al

In about 50 years, Chicago will be begging to the feds, just like New Orleans still does...never mind they've ignored the problem for a century.


10/15/2009 08:58:00 PM



(10/15/2009 08:07:00 PM) - Al

I gotta agree. The double standard seems to be growing wider daily.

When the old media covers up Edwards' yearlong affair while sending hundreds of reporters to Alaska to dig up dirt on Palin, it all seems clear.


10/15/2009 08:07:00 PM



(10/15/2009 08:04:00 PM) - Al

Nanny state...out of control. Our tax dollars at work.


10/15/2009 08:04:00 PM



(10/15/2009 07:37:00 PM) - Al

No offense, but the idea of another dime being spent on Nawlins is disgraceful. Rebuild it yourselves, or shut up. No one is going to build in the below sea level areas, as they know what will eventually happen.

You know, this happened many years ago. It might be time to take some responsibility instead of passing it onto the taxpayers who live in Maine, Alaska, and so on.


10/15/2009 07:37:00 PM



(10/15/2009 07:10:00 PM) - Al

Adam with a fine recap of Yost's interview in Houston.

I think a lot of folks forget that Ned did a very good job for years letting the young guys play, make their mistakes, and get to the next level. If you'll notice, many complained this September when Gamel did not get many AB's in September, even though McGehee had a 900 OPS, and Counsell also had an outstanding season.

If you'll note, most that complained about Yost complained about Macha...basically, dictionary definition of casuals.


10/15/2009 07:10:00 PM



(10/15/2009 09:42:00 AM) - Al

$2.6B taken from the military budget for earmarks.

Just when you thought they couldn't go any lower...


10/15/2009 09:42:00 AM


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(10/14/2009 10:36:00 PM) - Al

I still want my free stuff.

People in Columbus, Ohio seem to prove that people think nothing of getting something for nothing.


10/14/2009 10:36:00 PM



(10/14/2009 10:31:00 PM) - Al

What's that...health care for all will raise taxes?

Money quote: 90% of the burden will fall on those families making $200,000 a year.


10/14/2009 10:31:00 PM



(10/14/2009 09:41:00 PM) - Al

Mike Burns off the 40 man.

I wonder if they've talked to him about a minor league deal. He was useful as a reliever, and would be a nice fit in Nashville.


10/14/2009 09:41:00 PM



(10/14/2009 07:23:00 PM) - Al

Last year, Social Security recipients got a 5.9% raise, because inflation (led by fuel costs) was high. This year, inflation is nonexistent...and they still get a $250 check.

I'm pretty sure this is directly related to the fact retired people vote, and pay lobbyists huge amounts of cash.

Well played.

As for the rest of us, it's only $13B. The way this administration spends, I consider this a good day.


10/14/2009 07:23:00 PM



(10/14/2009 11:17:00 AM) - Al

Tim Hudson wants to stay in ATL. His name keeps popping up because he used to work with Rick Peterson in OAK. I have a hard time believing many teams would be bidding on Hudson, as his health is a huge question mark for a market sized contract offer (3y/$36M?).


10/14/2009 11:17:00 AM



(10/14/2009 10:27:00 AM) - Al

Tom H apparently does not believe in confirming his sources anymore than the fictional quotes people in the old media.

It's dying a slow and painful death because it deserves to.


10/14/2009 10:27:00 AM


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(10/13/2009 10:51:00 PM) - Al

I spent my evening watching poker on ESPN, followed by the Duggars on TLC.

How's that for a change of pace?


10/13/2009 10:51:00 PM



(10/13/2009 09:15:00 PM) - Al

Rush says many of the quotes being attributed to him are incorrect.

The "slavery" quote, repeated by Jim Carville, is especially ignorant, as if that choice of words would not have been made public before now.

I rarely listen to Rush, as I think, for the most part, he is more of an entertainer than a political commentator. However, he is enormously successful, and many dislike him for no other reason than his audience. The irony to me is, if Rush was half as bad as his critics claim, you wouldn't think they'd have to make up quotes to use against him.

UPDATE: Glenn with some unkind words about Matthews, who if he did say that, may well not have a job tomorrow.


10/13/2009 09:15:00 PM



(10/13/2009 08:38:00 PM) - Al

Due to injuries and illness, the Bulls only had 10 players available for the game.--JS

The regular season is still 2.5 weeks away, and teams already struggling to dress the minimum. The NBA is in need of a couple roster adjustment rules.


10/13/2009 08:38:00 PM



(10/13/2009 06:52:00 PM) - Al

I got this in a mass e-mail today, and while predictable, sums up the frustration many middle class folks have right now. Remember, 47% of Americans pay no taxes at all. Who do you think is going to get burned when it's time to "spread the wealth"?

OLD VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or
shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself !


MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands
to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed, while others
are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN AND ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table
filled with food.

AMERICA IS STUNNED BY THE SHARP CONTRAST. HOW CAN THIS BE, THAT IN A COUNTRY OF SUCH WEALTH, THIS POOR GRASSHOPPER IS ALLOWED TO SUFFER SO ?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries
when they sing "IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the
news stations film the group singing, "WE SHALL OVERCOME." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the
ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper and both call for an
immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.


10/13/2009 06:52:00 PM



(10/13/2009 06:09:00 PM) - Al

Cokie Roberts tells it like it is.

The Polanski defenders have grown very quiet, realizing they are outnumbered by anyone with an active brain cell.


10/13/2009 06:09:00 PM



(10/13/2009 04:07:00 PM) - Al

this a massive waist of $--Ashton Kutcher on Twitter

Heh. I'm always glad when the airheads do not support my political views.


10/13/2009 04:07:00 PM



(10/13/2009 03:31:00 PM) - Al

Common sense is dead in our schools. The people in charge that just throw their hands up in the air are the biggest problem, and are clueless.

Use the knife to cut the birthday cake, and then call the principal...off the charts.


10/13/2009 03:31:00 PM



(10/13/2009 10:55:00 AM) - Al

Payne pulls no punches about the Bradley Center.

Note the state kicks in cash to help keep the place running, but the city fiddles while Rome burns.


10/13/2009 10:55:00 AM



(10/13/2009 09:41:00 AM) - Al

Honeywell Chief Executive David Cote, a Republican who supported Mr. Obama in the election, says he was taken aback by the president’s rhetoric on the tax issue. "You can’t love jobs and hate those who create them," he says.--WSJ.com

Save that quote for the '10 and '12 elections.


10/13/2009 09:41:00 AM



(10/13/2009 09:38:00 AM) - Al

Bruce Jenner...racist.


10/13/2009 09:38:00 AM



(10/13/2009 09:34:00 AM) - Al

Glenn links up tales of government employees paid to do nothing, because they can't be fired. Why do prison guards, unneeded postal workers, and the like make so much money?

Because the government has no incentive to make money, or to spend less. Hence, they don't.


10/13/2009 09:34:00 AM


Monday, October 12, 2009

(10/12/2009 11:53:00 PM) - Al

Interestingly enough, even given the free-agency departures of Sabathia and Sheets, the team projected to be stronger on the run prevention side (sixth in the league) than on the scoring side (ninth), a counterintuitive forecast given the fact that six of the lineup's eight projected regulars are between the ages of 25 and 29 -- or in their statistical prime.--BP.com, on ESPN

Just found this little tidbit.

I said pretty much the same thing when I said the Crew's rotation was better than most people felt, and I was correct for half the season. Parra's off year and the injuries to Bush and Suppan hurt...a lot.


10/12/2009 11:53:00 PM



(10/12/2009 11:23:00 PM) - Al

Peterson could be next pitching coach--JS

The JS with a headline that's just par for the course, given their quality. The article is here.


10/12/2009 11:23:00 PM



(10/12/2009 10:21:00 PM) - Al

Quite possibly, one of the best articles I've ever read, as the WSJ looks at the Nobel Peace Prize (snicker), global warming (guffaw) and headlines of the world, including those that say Roman Polanski is "depressed" about being in jail (hearty chuckle).


10/12/2009 10:21:00 PM



(10/12/2009 09:54:00 PM) - Al

Epstein said he will hold discussions with Jason Varitek on returning as a backup, but the veteran probably craves more playing time.--Rotoworld

I could see Varitek seeing the Brewers as an alternative if he is willing to leave BOS. Considering the success of other guys who have moved from the AL to the NL, that might be worth chasing lightning in a bottle.


10/12/2009 09:54:00 PM



(10/12/2009 09:50:00 PM) - Al

Love your stuff and insight Al, keep it coming.

Would you make this trade? And why or why not?

Prince to Oakland for: Either SP-Trevor Cahill or SP-Brett Anderson, 1B-Daric Barton and a pitching prospect (you pick).

Too much for Prince....or...?

Eric


Put an "and" instead of an "or" between Cahill and Anderson, I might well do it.

That said, no way Beane makes that deal unless he thinks he can extend Prince, and I don't know why he would think he could. Young pitching is overvalued, if anything.


10/12/2009 09:50:00 PM



(10/12/2009 08:49:00 PM) - Al

The Astros interviewing Yost, Acta, Garner...but not Randolph.

Seems odd.


10/12/2009 08:49:00 PM



(10/12/2009 06:47:00 PM) - Al

Minor league free agents, the first of many more to come, are there for the signing.

Color me dull, but I'd love to see Joe Dillon back in AAA or as the other utility infielder with Craig.

Several pitchers with AAA success and decent K/BB and K/9 ratios, including several relievers (Geary, Nelson, and Swindle) who will probably spend plenty of time in the majors next year. Doug may well sign a couple of those guys for AAA rotation depth, as they will have few "prospects" in Nashville next season.


10/12/2009 06:47:00 PM



(10/12/2009 05:52:00 PM) - Al

You can vote for the Brewers' "kaboom" celebration as one of the best of the season over at USA Today.


10/12/2009 05:52:00 PM



(10/12/2009 05:46:00 PM) - Al

Rick Peterson still the favorite, but another couple coaches interviewed, one of which was Bryan Price, who worked above Bosio in SEA and TB, I think.


10/12/2009 05:46:00 PM



(10/12/2009 04:37:00 PM) - Al

Mike Singletary called all of his timeouts late in a blowout loss yesterday to "get some more hits in", and by the looks of it, yell at his team.

The odd thing is, the NBA does this all the time, and it's done less in college, but they still do it to run a specific play, or try something along those lines.

They just mentioned on PTI they think it may well "lose the team", as the players are not fans of having to play meaningless plays at the end of the game. I'd say SF probably isn't good enough to have guys questioning what's the scoop, but I'm sure they do know how to play half-speed, which is exactly what you'd expect a group of adults to do when in this situation.


10/12/2009 04:37:00 PM


Sunday, October 11, 2009

(10/11/2009 10:19:00 PM) - Al

Nonstop nanny state fever in the US, while China is overloaded with real problems, and not just made up ones. A dangerous landfill like that will keep causing problems for the next 50 years, and they will probably start to multiply.


10/11/2009 10:19:00 PM



(10/11/2009 10:06:00 PM) - Al

Hey Al,

As always, thanks for rambling. Just wanted to share this:

I thinks it's hilarious/ironic that the twins, known as a team that plays "the right way" (TM) and does "all the little things" right, has cost themselves 2 runs in 3 games solely on baserunning blunders.

Thanks again,

Marty


Gleeman has been ripping on the media for the last couple years...at least, about this. It's become a cliche, and like most cliches, it's not true, or just barely partially true. It is painful how the old media ignores the small market teams all year, then when they make the playoffs, spouts untruths about them.

That said, I'm surprised the phrase "gets his uniform dirty" was not said about Punto as he made his gaffe. Ramblings' contributor Robert has often noted that, without exception, players described as "scrappy" could be more accurately described by removing the first letter.


10/11/2009 10:06:00 PM



(10/11/2009 06:53:00 PM) - Al

I did not bother looking at the grades in the JS, because Tony W is a certified buffoon, and Tom H is barely better, but BCB sums up the stupidity very well.

A B- for 3rd place...as we said in college, geez, that's a tough curve.

Needless to say, Tony W never would have passed a single class with a curve like that.:)


10/11/2009 06:53:00 PM



(10/11/2009 02:11:00 PM) - Al

200 WI folks tell Gore he's full of the exact same hot air he is so worried about.

Considering Gore owns a huge company based solely on the belief the environment is in danger, his arguments seem a bit questionable, to say the least.

Ann points out the continuing irony that wherever Gore goes, record low temps are sure to follow.


10/11/2009 02:11:00 PM



(10/11/2009 01:16:00 PM) - Al

Even Seth McClung thinks Tony W is in idiot.


10/11/2009 01:16:00 PM



(10/11/2009 12:16:00 PM) - Al

Al,

I understand what Doug is saying about improving the pitching, even at the expense of the #3 offense in the league. However, being a big Mike Cameron fan, I don't think most folks realize his true value, not only is he a fine defensive CF, he hits like a corner OF. It's like having three LF's in the lineup, but still with a fine defender in CF.

Thoughts?

Dave


Dave, no doubt Cameron is a plus player. In my mind, he carries two big negatives...his salary and his age. He's not going to be playing in a few years, so wondering where the dropoff is going to come makes perfect sense. And, despite the fact he keeps himself in great shape, he is bound to be more prone to injuries annually.

Another thing to keep in mind is this...if neither Cameron or Kendall return, Mike's replacement is unlikely to match his OXS, but Jason's is likely to be higher...which, hopefully, will all break even. Gerut's career numbers are not far from Cameron's, though Mike played in tough hitter's parks until he signed in MIL.


10/11/2009 12:16:00 PM



(10/11/2009 12:04:00 PM) - Al

Tom H gives his ideas on improving the Brewers. It's not as bad as his everyday work, but it's very short of specifics as well.


10/11/2009 12:04:00 PM



(10/11/2009 12:01:00 PM) - Al

The Rambling wife and son got their flu shot at church today, and I went to the church right behind our backyard and got mine.

My arm feels a bit funny, but I honestly never felt it.


10/11/2009 12:01:00 PM



(10/11/2009 12:47:00 AM) - Al

The nanny state school district suspends a kid for a month for...having a pocket knife in his locked car, along with other survival kit items.

Any further to the left, they'd be on the right.

Oof.


10/11/2009 12:47:00 AM



(10/11/2009 12:30:00 AM) - Al

Bob Kerrey asks Obama to "pull a W" and go against public opinion.

He forgets W did what he said and said what he did, and was unpopular for it. Obama's answer to the question is likely dependent on the next poll.


10/11/2009 12:30:00 AM



(10/11/2009 12:11:00 AM) - Al

Al,

In response to your post about no roof in Colorado, did you happen to note the starting time for Sunday's game? 8:07 Mountain? In the words of Bill Shroeder: My goodness! You just called a game for cold weather, then start the makeup game at 8pm? The emphasis on TV ratings is getting ridiculous.

As you've pointed out many times before: Thank goodness for Bud pushing for a retractable in Milwaukee.

Shawn


I suppose that's when they didn't have a game scheduled, as they can't have overlap, I assume.


10/11/2009 12:11:00 AM


Saturday, October 10, 2009

(10/10/2009 11:19:00 PM) - Al

Drew Carey reports the USA has qualified for the World Cup. No TV except closed circuit in a few bars due to Honduran TV.


10/10/2009 11:19:00 PM



(10/10/2009 09:56:00 PM) - Al

Unless something unique pops up, I doubt I'll be posting tomorrow. That said, if a fair ball by a foot is called foul...

Have a good Sunday.


10/10/2009 09:56:00 PM



(10/10/2009 09:45:00 PM) - Al

Growing up, there was a huge tree in the yard of the home farm which was always called "the buckeye tree", as the thins that fell were called "buckeyes". I was just looking up something, and one search led to another, and it seems that those things were "conkers", also known as horse chestnuts, which fall from a horse chestnut tree.

I don't think I've ever seen anything called "slightly poisonous" before either. Reminds me of my other favorite phrases, "a little bit pregnant" and a band one of my associates' boyfriends played in, "Somewhat Drowning".


10/10/2009 09:45:00 PM



(10/10/2009 09:21:00 PM) - Al

NFL picks...Steelers, Cowboys, Vikings, Patriots, and Colts, along with the rest of the home teams.

Indy giving up the points, and Miami with them.

I'm 43-19 thus far on the year, and 4-4 trying to beat the bookmakers.


10/10/2009 09:21:00 PM



(10/10/2009 08:34:00 PM) - Al

This may be the most telling quotes I've ever seen:

Crew chief Tim Tschida said to reporters after the game. "There’s a guy sitting over there in the umpire’s dressing room right now that feels horrible."

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was incredulous. "We had six umpires out there, I think. I think, right, six? Six umpires," he sputtered.


Note how with Tschida, it's all about the umpire...me, me, me. No apology to the Twins, no wondering how that blatant of an error could have been made. Meanwhile, Gardenhire feels the same way everyone watching the game feels, and simply says the truth...six guys are no better than four when they suck. It's not the least bit unexpected to see CB Bucknor called "Consistently Bad" on triple digit baseball sites...he's been horrible for years...and is still rewarded by working the postseason. Despite his all over the place zone, note how he immediately tears off his mask when someone dares question a call.

I absolutely despise all replay (though tennis' is darn near perfect), but MLB's "umpires" are beyond anything I could have fathomed just a few spins around the sun ago. Remember the outrage at Eric Gregg's strike zone? Sure it was huge, but it was consistent. Work that was previously much maligned is now yearned for. My how bad it has become in just a short while.


10/10/2009 08:34:00 PM



(10/10/2009 07:20:00 PM) - Al

Looks like you can add Padilla to the list of bottom of the rotation SP's available...though the Rangers will warn you, he may be a bit of a "distraction".

If you ever wonder why TEX always struggles with pitching, it may because they let solid guys go even though they are fighting for a playoff spot.


10/10/2009 07:20:00 PM



(10/10/2009 05:52:00 PM) - Al

Everyone seems to agree that the Brewers need to improve their starting pitching, which put up a 5.37 ERA last year. However, how to do so is a question mark.

No doubt Yo will be back. Parra was awful much of the year, but due to velocity and lefthandedness alone seems all but certain to return. Suppan is probably unmovable due to his contract, so I have him back.

I have Narveson returning, but not penciled into the top five, though he may end up there due to injury or ineffectiveness. I have said often I expect one pitcher to be picked up in free agency and one in trade, with Hart or Hardy the most likely to go.

As I have said, in my view, the two most likely free agent targets are Doug Davis and Jarrod Washburn, both veteran LHP's who rely more on guile than velocity. Jarrod has pitched in a pitcher's park the past few seasons, but even so, in the past three seasons, he has put up a 3.83 road ERA. Some also point to the Mariners' OF defense in '09. While I think that may be overstated a bit (as most defensive metrics are), it also does not say anything about '07 and '08.

Meanwhile, Davis has a 4.22 ERA over the past three campaigns, though about half of his innings come in one of the friendliest parks to hitters in the NL, in the thin, dry air of Arizona, a park that usually has 7-8% more offense than a neutral stadium (like Miller Park). A 4.25 ERA projection for '10 is about what I'd expect.

Many seem to not like either option, and I'm the first to admit, both are older (Doug will be 34, Jarrod 35 next year), so a fair projection would probably include a 3% annual deterioration. Washburn actually pitched better on the road than at home, so his last three years, he has compiled 4.32, 4.69, and 3.78 ERA's overall. I would say he probably projects a bit higher than Davis, probably in the 4.50 range.

Davis has been a innings eater his entire career (192 innings or more in 5 of the last 6 years, in '08 he had cancer, and "only" threw 146) while Washburn usually hits about 150-175, though he has made 25 starts or more each of the past nine years. Given that, being a year younger, and going to a better home park for pitchers (rather than vice versa for Washburn), I prefer Davis, though both are solid, if unspectacular, and would improve the pitching staff.

How much you ask? If they hit the projections I mention above, and you had an entire rotation made up of these two guys (that would leave Yo out) and clones of them, and they pitched an equal number of innings as the '09 SP's did...they would have allowed 96 fewer runs...9-10 wins using the rule of 10. That would have left the Brewers with 89 or 90 victories, and right in the playoff hunt.

It's not about bringing in stars, it's about lowering that horrible starter's ERA. Some of that will come from within (hopefully), but there will be additions as well.


10/10/2009 05:52:00 PM


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